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Tuesday, 10 April 2018

God Bless Our 'Future-proofed' Home

It is now five or six years since we moved in to the water tower.   We spent a small fortune on the very latest things to make sure the place was 'future proofed', particularly on the electrical side.

Well, 'the future' is now here.   I have an iPhone, an Alexa, Smart TVs, Wi-Fi, Blue Tooth and a Blog.

The Smart TVs (Samsungs mainly) break down often.   Meanwhile when they are working the pictures pixellate when the wind blows.

Our rainwater harvesting system was a disaster from the off.   Loyal Blog followers will know that I scrapped the Kingspan Envireau controls completely in favour of a pressure valve and a float switch. It now works.

As for the internet, don't even ask.   Cat 5 ethernet cables (with me?) run all over the place, ending at fiddly, fragile and f***** expensive sockets in most rooms.   They tend not to work either.   No matter though, so many of todays gizmos don't want ethernet - they live on Wi-Fi, 4G and such.

Oh yes Wi, short for wireless.   Fine when that works and Dr Apple hasn't cynically slowed down the devices to make buy new ones.  Fine when fitted but all the remote bell pushes and detectors need batteries which fail.   Not good when the smoke alarms need scaffolding for access.

Meanwhile I have two sheds full of cast aside electronic gadgets, all bought with the best of intentions to future proof my life.   Here a four plug-ins that are meant to give me boosted Wi-Fi everywhere.   They don't.   They confuse the Smart TVs:

I also have four or so wireless routers - two came with the house's future proofing:

Another bristles with more antennae than Emley Moor TV mast and wires go everywhere:

LED light bulbs fail more often than their incandescent predecessors.

Our lift (the ultimate piece of future proofing) needs more engineer call-outs and service visits than does the 1914 Ford Model T in the garage.

Much of this nonsense is sold as energy (and therefore money) saving.   Tosh.

We are about to build an extension to our home - out of sight, round the back you'll be glad to hear.   Still at the design and planning stage.   One thing is for certain though.   It will be simple.   It will use tried and tested things like windows that open, minimal electric wiring, straightforward heating with radiators, none of those silly hole-in-the ceiling lights.   It will  be as near Passivhaus (energy efficient) as we can achieve.   Future Proofing?   We've tried that, got the T shirt and we don't like it.

There is (or was) a bit of management-speak back in the day.   It was KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid.

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